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Saturday 21 September 2019

Fullen exiles target All-Ireland crown

Seen and Heard

Three Wexford exiles are just two games away from AIB All-Ireland Club glory.

The Fullen Gaels (Manchester) side which edged out Munster champions Modeligo of Waterford in the Junior hurling quarter-final in Birmingham recently featured Simon Wallace of St. James' at right corner-back and Greg Jacob (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy) at centre-forward, while Joe Sheehan (Clonard) was a substitute.

The British champions won by 2-6 to 0-10 against highly-rated opponents who had hit five goals past Castlemartyr of Cork in the provincial final to follow in the footsteps of fellow Waterford club Ballysaggart, the 2013 Munster winners.

It was a marvellous victory for Fullen given the pressure they came under in the second-half when their rivals were backed by a strong wind. However, they are no strangers to the pressure involved at this level as they have now reached the semi-finals four times in five years.

Their next outing is against Castleblayney Faughs of Monaghan in the Parnells club headquarters in Coolock, Dublin on Sunday.

If Fullen Gaels succeed they will return on February 15 to Croke Park where they were narrowly beaten by Thomastown of Kilkenny in the All-Ireland final of 2013.

The exiles are based in Manchester and select from a very small panel of 24 players, made up of Irish lads working in the Manchester area. The squad includes players from Wexford, Galway, Laois, Donegal, Antrim and Dublin.

Youths limbering up

Wexford Youths have an attractive pre-season schedule in preparation for the 2015 campaign which gets under way in March.

The Youths travel to Dalymount Park on Sunday, February 1, to take on Bohemians, with a 2 p.m. kick-off, while on Friday, February 13, they entertain cup winners, St. Patrick's Athletic, at Ferrycarrig Park (7.30 p.m.).

Sunday, February 22, sees their local derby clash with North End United in the Leinster Senior Cup at 2.30 p.m., while on Saturday, February 28, it's a game against Bray Wanderers at Ferrycarrig Park, starting at 2 p.m.

Hurling problem in town

The Wexford Under-14 South hurling team require a manager, selectors and coaches for the coming season. This entails preparing the team to take part in a number of blitzes and to represent Wexford in the Tony Forristal and Sonny Walsh tournament in Waterford on the last Saturday in August.

If you are aware of anyone who may be interested, please contact the Wexford Park coaching office on coaching.wexford@gaa.ie or by phone on 05391-44808.

U-14 boss required

The frustration with the promotion of hurling in Wexford town has once again returned to haunt those involved.

While there was some light at the end of the tunnel when Volunteers embarked on a hurling promotion with under-age and adult set-ups, joining long-term protagonists Faythe Harriers and Clonard, this seems to have fallen by the wayside.

It's a shame to hear that Wexford town, with a population of more than 20,000 people, is now being reduced to just two hurling set-ups following the decision of Volunteers and Clonard to amalgamate at under-age level, having moved in a similar direction for Junior hurling last year under the Wygram Gaels banner.

This is a story that must be creating concern at the top levels of the Association in the county.

The work of Faythe Harriers alone will not suffice to promote the game in the town despite their best efforts over the years. Clonard is a parish with a population of more than 10,000 people, yet it fails to provide a basis for hurling.

Volunteers juggled with hurling back in the mid-1940s but are a renowned football club who have fallen away in recent years.

Their tinkering with hurling has failed dismally while their decision to amalgamate with Clonard demonstrates the small number of under-age players participating in the game of hurling in the capital town.

Wexford People

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